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6 - What is left of the Wall

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  What is left III

Niederkirchner Strasse :

Remnants of the Wall along a street charged with tragedy, as it separates Goering’s former Air Ministry and the headquarters of the SS and the Gestapo.

Checkpoint Charlie :

Checkpoint Charlie was in the Friedrichstrasse, at the boundary between the boroughs of Mitte (in the East) and Kreuzberg (in the West). It was in the American sector, but as of 1962, there were British and French representatives there too. It had been since 25th August 1961 the crossing point between the two Berlins reserved for foreigners, diplomats and the military. In the military jargon, there was also Checkpoint Alpha at Helmstedt, on the border between the two Germanies, and Checkpoint Bravo at Dreilinden, on the border between West Berlin and East Germany. At Checkpoint Charlie, members of the Allied forces were registered and informed of the security regulations. However neither the East nor West German authorities were entitled to inspect them.

Checkpoint Charlie was the scene of two confrontations. On 22nd October 1961, the East German authorities demanded to check the US representatives and then refused to let them through to the eastern sector. Amid mounting tension, Soviet and American tanks faced each other for several dramatic days. In 1973, the checkpoint was hit by bullets when East German guards fired at a fugitive. A year later, another fugitive was shot dead just in front of the western soldiers.

Checkpoint Charlie disappeared on 22nd June 1990. It is now exhibited at the Allies’ Museum, although the control tower on the eastern side is still standing.

The Checkpoint Charlie museum (Haus am Checkpoint Charlie) retraces the history of the Wall since 1963, and also holds exhibitions on art and human rights.

Nearby, in the Zimmerstrasse is the cross erected in tribute to young Peter Fechter, who was shot trying to escape in 1962.

Further on, in the Kochstrasse, the press magnate Axel Springer had the imposing head office of his publishing house built in 1959 just next to the border. After the Wall went up, he broadcast illuminated information from the top of the building for the benefit of " the other side ".

Berlin
Berlin

 

Zimmerstrasse
Zimmerstrasse

 

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